80% of purchase decisions based on recommendations

Society3-networked-worldSocial Media has changed the way consumer and business manager alike make their purchase decisions. The web has become the most influential resource in figuring out what to buy. Depending on the research, target audience, product or service, the percentage of new purchase decisions based on mentions and recommendations range between 72% to 90%. That is true for both B2B and B2C customers.

It is hard too imagine a manager making a  purchase decision purely based on advertising inputs and conversations with vendors. In the Tech industry estimations are that those purchase decisions are even at nearly 100% based on public mentions, reviews, and recommendations.

A business executive cannot stay put and just hope that their solutions are good enough and be recommended. They have to be proactive and stimulate mentions and recommendations. And in today’s wide open online world it is not too difficult to do so.

Smart executives focus on four business units.

1) Marketing
Marketing being the obvious one. Marketing was always the group that was responsible for sparking demand, responding to market changes and stimulating interest. A marketing department that is able to stimulate mentions and recommendations represent a huge competitive advantage over those who do not.

2) Partner Networks
Distribution channels, including resellers, broker, dealer, alliance partners are highly influential channels directly addressing certain market segments or geographies of a given vendor. Like the general marketing those channels need to be aware of the shifts in purchase behavior and able to address those changes with smart ways to stimulate conversations around their brands

3) Sales Organization
Sales people are typically the most social teams in an organization. However they are not automatically web savvy. Most have been trained over years, even decades to follow specific processes and have the hardest time to bring their sales processes in alignment with the new buying pattern.

4) Customer Experience Management
CX or CEM is a relatively new discipline in most businesses.  However, it has just become a very significant investment when it is coming to mentions and recommendations. Businesses providing a good customer experience are obviously much ahead of their competition that has only mediocre or even bad customer experience.

The ultimate Social Media objective

In today’s extremely competitive world being mentioned and recommended is one of the most important aspects of business success. Companies like Zappos, Star Bucks, Jet Blue, Virgine, SalesForce.com, BMW, SAP, coming from all kinds of industries covering both B2B and B2C, have outperformed their competition mainly due to the fact that their customers are happy and say it across the Internet.

It isn’t “Social Media” per se that makes any difference – but the way Social Media is leveraged in a globally competing world. A rock solid social media strategy is paramount to leverage the web to a degree that it positively affects the bottom line.

Axel
http://XeeMe.com/AxelS

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Social Media Academy now Society3 Academy

When we started in 2008, we were the first Social Media Academy and did not expect so many others following us. Today we count roughly 25 different “Social Media Academies”. Since it is a generic term, we were not able to file a trademark and so we decided to give the institute a more distinguishable name: S3 Social Media Academy

 

Origin of the name

After the inception of our early form of a society back in ancient Egypt, humanity developed gradually and grew with only little evolutionary advancements. Preservation and transportation of knowledge was one of the most critical things in this early society to be able to advance. The first major and revolutionary advancement happened when Gutenberg invented the printing press and enabled an explosion of knowledge dissemination. Advancements of mankind grew rapidly. The second major enhancement happened during the industrial revolution. People formed closely collaborating groups producing goods on one place. And again knowledge distribution accelerated by order of magnitude. Any step in the production chain could be followed from start to finish, mistakes could be instantly corrected and products could be mass produced at a cost and in a time like never before. While the steam engine was a key technology – it was the organizational concept of collaborating in a company that sparked the second explosion of knowledge. Now the third major enhancement is enabled by Social Media. Today anybody can work with everybody in a virtual environmental with no time lack, no travel and no physical limitations. Any conceivable information is instantly and typically freely available and immediately accessible. And our collaboration space has expand to be the world, connected by the Internet and is no longer limited by a manufacturing building. This third evolutionary step of knowledge and influence dissemination in our Society is the origin of our company name.

 

S3 Social Media Academy

The institute evolved to become the most respected Social Media education provider world wide. In the first 4 years more than 5,000 attendees from 35 countries attended the various education and training offerings. What started with classes for Social Media consultants evolved to a global provider for corporate team education including training for indirect channel partners.

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Thousands Of Social Media Agencies/Managers At Risk

I recently wrote a post “Over 70% of Social Media initiatives FAIL“. I received more personal responses on that one post than on all posts I wrote in the past 5 years together. It inspired my to write this response to the overarching question: “What shall we do“.

No project success – No Reference

The consequence of failing projects – beyond the fact that it failed: here goes a potential reference customer.
Agencies have to come to a bitter realization:

Taking a print brochure to the web was an important transition
Taking a webpage and share it with friends is meaningless

Tens of thousands of agencies and social media consultants struggle to run their business. The social web is just NOT what so many people think: “just yet another marketing channel”.

10 things successful agencies do differently

Successful teams think entirely different and help their business clients to think through the entire chain of implications of a social engagement rather than just selling followers, fans and a page. And this is no different whether it is a 25 people small business company or a 25,000 employee global enterprise. Continue reading “Thousands Of Social Media Agencies/Managers At Risk”

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Social Media Strategy For European Union

This is a great case for a social media strategy on some of the highest levels

The EU is committed to invest Billions of Euro specifically into the digital advancement of EU Member countries and their respective businesses. The EU Commission fully comprehended that the digital infrastructure is the next most important investment of a developed nation. Clean water supplies, transportation infrastructure (Water, roads, air traffic), radio communication, and now Internet and Social Media infrastructure is the pathway to a successful and globally competitive nation.

The purpose of the Social Media Strategy Europe

Helping small and medium size businesses and innovative start-ups across Europe to leverage social media to create a sustainable growth, additional jobs and being able to compete in a global market. We want to empower 25,000 business owner in the EU to leverage social media with a measurable positive impact on their business growth which created new jobs by 2016. Continue reading “Social Media Strategy For European Union”

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Social Media 2004 – 2040 – At just the tip of the iceberg

We talked to several people, business owner, marketing manager, social media practitioner what they would really love to see down the social media road. We then tried to draw a trajectory from where we are, what people dream of, and where it may go. This post is the beginning of a story that we plan to continue. Where are we going? This is the beginning of a new Social Media Academy Research Project and you are invited to add to it.

All in all, here is the single biggest change Social Media is bringing to our society: We no longer can say “I have no influence”. It’s no longer true that you as an individual can’t make a change. It evolves to the opposite situation:

Change will only be possible if most of us wants it.

Is this really positive? I don’t know yet to be honest. But that is the most probable development.

Continue reading “Social Media 2004 – 2040 – At just the tip of the iceberg”

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New Social Technology Tools & Latest Innovations

Silicon Valley remains to be a phenomenon when it comes to technology innovation and startups. And Social Media is no difference. XWeek is an initiative from XeeMe Inc. helping users around the world getting a view into those technology boosters before they become as well known as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or lately Pinterest. Every other week users will be introduced to a new technology or new product, being able to hear from entrepreneurs what the vision of their company is and where the industry is heading.

XWeek also helps startups to get additional exposure to the market and to people they may not know.

This week XWeek is introducing Twylah

a very interesting summary and publishing tool to re-purpose your Twitter content

Continue reading “New Social Technology Tools & Latest Innovations”

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A Social Media Strategy is like Sex – those who have it don’t brag about it

My friend Bob Thompson wrote an intriguing post about the status of Social Media, which in turn sparked this post. Basically those companies who have a brilliant social media strategy don’t brag about it. And the reason is simple: Why should you share some of your most significant competitive advantages. As many of you know, I’m involved in several of those major strategy developments and can’t and won’t talk about it other than teaching how it is done.

Continue reading “A Social Media Strategy is like Sex – those who have it don’t brag about it”

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Internet World Exhibition with Social Media Boost

Tooting the horn for an event is a resource intensive and expensive way of getting the word out. With the help of friends, fans, speaker or exhibitor it is becoming much easier.

The Internet World Exhibition collaborates with Social Media Academy

The Social Media Academy team in collaboration with XeeMe built a platform and contest for Internet World Expo in Munich to help spread the word by integrating exhibitors into a wide spread social media initiative. Obviously exhibitors have a vested interest to grow the number of visitors and a huge incentive to contribute to the engagement. This is a first and everybody is excited so far: Here is how it works:

Continue reading “Internet World Exhibition with Social Media Boost”

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Marketing Re-engineering and the new CMO

Social media spans the whole gamut from marketing, PR, support, product management and sales through the entire organization. Social Media became the new way for higher integration with the market. It offers marketing departments a whole new opportunity to interact with the entire organization.

CIO or CMO?

In many of the larger organizations the CIO (Chief Information Officer) is busy taking care of network infrastructure, computing power, security, ERP systems and much more. And so it is actually the CMO who is weaving the network for the market interaction model that has just expanded like the big bang over the universe of a business. In other words the new CMO will gain significantly more influence and watch the business as a whole – no longer just from a promotional perspective.

Continue reading “Marketing Re-engineering and the new CMO”

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Social Media Power & Politics

The presidential campaign in 2008 was a milestone in Social Media history. Where does it go in 2012? As of now President Obama is the clear leader in the race for president in 2012 when we read the emotions of the American people.

In accordance to Overdrive Interactive who managed to accumulate all the data points in the social web, Barack Obama has a higher rank in the US population than all other candidates together. So far so good but what does this really mean?

Continue reading “Social Media Power & Politics”

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